It is completely fitting that as we approach the store PalmaDOG we are greeted by two bouncing dogs. Ulf Bernström, the owner of PalmaDOG calmly follows behind with a cheery disposition. He opens the door and shows us in to what is, quite simply, luxury canine chic. Bohemian leads, braided baskets and beautiful bags line the shelves, many of which are intricately designed by Ulf himself and fellow artists on the island.
We look over some of the labels and Ulf explains that every product in his store is researched thoroughly so that he knows exactly where it is made and by who. We watch as he moves around the store with captivating ease, picking up leads, collars and harnesses while recalling their creators. He hands us a beautiful beige lead and re-traces its journey. “This was made by Louisa.” He points to her name on the label. “She is from a small village in Austria, is paid a good salary and has holiday…” he says, smiling in words. Ulf is thoughtful and precise, elaborating on every detail of the production line from ethical workplaces to animal care in the country of origin. We ask him what he considers the most important when selecting products and he doesn’t hesitate. “I will not sell any food that is not ecological for example” he states, pressing that it is all about sourcing sustainably and above all, nurturing a healthy and happy dog. We pause for a moment, just having noticed that on top our feet a white ball of fluff has happily chosen to snooze away.
Ulf grins as he leans over and strokes Mac, his sleepy, snowy-white Jack Russel. It is clear that the love between them is strong and unwavering, which strikes a bond that Ulf says every dog-owner feels. “We have a silent communication with our dogs. You never have to pretend to be someone, or dress-up for a dog, you just wake-up and they’re ready to love you.” He tilts his head, looking at his dogs. “I never feel alone when I am with them.”
Ulf shares more of his ecological range when a beautiful woven basket with Mallorquin fabric catches our eye. “Is that made on Mallorca?” Ulf’s face lights up, thrilled by the question. He talks of his collaboration with artisan basket-weaver Aina Pistola, who lives in Artá. “She makes the finest baskets with the most detail and then I design the inside.” He says, opening it up to reveal a cushioned interior. His list of his collaborators doesn’t end there, as he points to an exclusive collection of PalmaDOG by Tara’s, which is from the same handbag designer a few stores down. “The PalmaDOG by Tara’s range is all made by women working in her studio in Inca” he says, fashioning one of the bags. He unzips it, pointing to ample space for doggie treats and bags. “It’s about style but it always has to be functional” he concludes, as Mac bounds on over ready for another walk.